Buy a Homeless Man a Snapple



Spending the day in New York with some friends.

It had been much too long since I crossed an item off my “Kind Acts & Volunteering” bucket list. This Monday, I went into New York City to meet up with a friend from my study abroad trip to Australia, and later, a friend I went to the University of Delaware with.

When I arrived in New York, I had some time to kill before my friend’s train arrived in about an hour. While walking around Penn Station, I passed a homeless man holding a sign and remembered my bucket list item “Buy a homeless person coffee.” Yet, when I thought about it, I realized that on an extremely hot day like Monday had been, I would want something more satisfying than coffee, even an iced one. In addition, I didn’t see many places selling coffee nearby and feared that he would walk away if I went too far.

Once I went up to the local vendor and looked at his selections, I thought about getting a water bottle, but realized water might not be too much of a treat. I went with Snapple and then walked back over the man. “Hi, I was wondering if you would like this Snapple?” I asked. “Thank you,” he said as he took it and gave me the biggest smile. It made my day. I didn’t want to stare, but about twenty minutes later, I decided to walk by him again to see if he had drank the Snapple. I was glad to see that it was half full.

In the grand scheme of things, buying someone a Snapple is absolutely nothing, especially since I was about to spend a nice day in NYC going to lunch, then dinner. I could have gotten him a Snapple and a meal, etc. I also know that writing about doing a kind act almost entirely defeats the purpose of doing one and that helping someone who is homeless is not an item that should ever be “crossed off” a bucket list. However, “crossing this particular act off” my “Kind Acts & Volunteering” bucket list helped me realize I should help out more often (and in the future, without writing about it!) While it was a small gesture, it still made me extremely happy handing him that Snapple.

Has anyone had a similar experience volunteering/helping someone out?

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25 Responses to Buy a Homeless Man a Snapple

  1. romanticidiot says:

    You’d be surprised how many people walk by and do nothing ; literally nothing . So your act of seeing a homeless person, deciding to do what you’d promised yourself to do and then going further and taking your time to see what would be best for him at the time is really something. I know what you mean about feeling funny about telling people about your act. But the positive side is by you telling us you make us more aware and for some of us encourage us to do just the same!
    Thank you for sharing something humane and important :).

  2. Meredith says:

    And, by sharing you encourage others. Thanks.

  3. Reblogged this on Achievewellnessphx and commented:
    This article is a reminder that we should all endeavor to “inflict” small unexpected (ok, random) acts of kindness perhaps not every day but frequently and from a place of giving rather than a place of obligation.

  4. vani2014 says:

    Awesome post! Today is my birthday and I am requesting my friends to donate money, instead of spending on drinks, food and gifts, to a fund raiser to help a homeless family move in to a place of their own. Please visit my blog if you wish to help

  5. Jadie says:

    ooooh i love Snapple!

  6. Nice to hear about kind gestures. 🙂

  7. Michelle says:

    You have nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by Missivesbymichelle

  8. erikakind says:

    I love what you did and I love that you write about it since it encourages others to do the same! People are often scared to get in touch with a homeless. Your story takes that fear from them. In April I spent some time in Southern California. When I decided short noticed to go for some shoppings at 7 pm I spottet a homeless person. Before I entered the store I put some money in my pocket. I am not too naive and have the money at hand I want to give. When I came out of the store I saw that the person had moved closer to the entrance. I put my shoppings into the car and went back. I saw that it was a woman totally wrapped in warm black clothes with a suitecase she had put next to her. I went to that woman and started talking to her: “I hope you don’t mind, but are you hungry?” She seemed surprised that someone was talking to her and looked at me with big eyes. She also appeared very young to me. She answered: “Yes, I am. I am always hungry!”. I replied: “Then I would love you to take this and I hope it helps you a little.” I gave her 20 dollars. But I did not want to just walk away. What those people miss most is attention and interest at them. I asked her how this all happened and how she ended up here on the street. She told me the whole story and I felt such a deep connection between us. Inside of me a huge wave of love started to fill me totally out. It is this kind of love Wayne Dyer calls “divine love” – a love that embraces all and everything as part of oneself. I said to that woman that she shall never lose hope and that things will turn around again. I couldn’t help it and hugged her from my heart. I don’t know when it was the last time that she got a hug. Remembering that moment make my eyes wet but because I feel that love again which is beyond words. When I left her and pulled the car key out of my pocket 2 pennies fell out of my pocket on the street. I remembered that I found 3 pennies that morning. I picked up the 2 dropped pennies and went back to the homeless woman. I put them into her hands, told her that these were 2 lucky pennies I found, and that it seems that they were meant for her. I gave her one more hug and new that things will definitely turn around for her. It was a wonderful experience.
    To be honest, this woman did so much more for me than I could ever do for her. She helped me to experience a feeling of unconditional love.
    Thanks, Christine, for inspiring me to tell this story and for posting your beautiful experience!

  9. Gave a homeless man my salmon and rice. Felt good. Probably a treat he doesn’t come across too often.

  10. suzanne says:

    More than anything, those experiencing homelessness need human interaction and relationship. Instead of walking on past, acknowledging that there is indeed a human being there by making eye contact and smiling is SOMETHING. That Snapple may not have changed his homelessness, but it said to him, “I see you, human, and I acknowledge that as a human you might enjoy this today.”

  11. Greetings! Wonderful. I run a soup kitchen at my local church on Tuesdays an Thursdays and have done so for 12 years. No questions ask. We treat the folks like family, at my dinner table. What’s a soup kitchen a facility that feeds anyone in need of a lunch meal-hot and the freshest ingredients I can find! Any gesture big or small to help another human being down on their luck, whatever the circumstances, will indeed fulfill within yourself a profound joy. Bravo. Cheryl

  12. Great Job! Everyone needs a helping hand sometimes whatever their circumstances! Cheryl.

  13. btg5885 says:

    Very nice gesture. Just showing some humanity makes a difference. In one instance, a homeless person said to a kind person, “you are the first person to shake my hand in a long while. Thank you.” Thanks for doing this and thanks for sharing, BTG

  14. austinjules says:

    Thanks for sharing. Inspiring and a great reminder to pay attention and care, even if our caring seems small, for those whom cross our paths each and every day! Inspiring.

  15. Marie Lough says:

    I was in a motorcycle accident while on vacation this past week. We were riding into Roanoke VA and it had just rained. As I came down a hill, the light suddenly turned yellow and I put my brakes on. The bike fish-tailed and went down. All traffic stopped and the only one that came out to help pick up my bike and my things that had scattered was a homeless man that was sitting on a corner. After we were assured I was okay and he had returned to his corner, I walked back across the road to give him $10 cash that I had on me. He just said God Bless and I felt we had a heart connection. He would not take it and I just set it down on his bucket. God sent that angel to help me.

  16. Random acts of kindness – the world needs more of them.

  17. nice gesture… of kindness

  18. Britt says:

    I love this blog and all the positive things you are doing! I have nominated you for the one lovely blog award! I hope you accept and share this with everyone! check out my post: XOXOX keep up the awesomeness!

  19. smithei says:

    Love your blog and nominated you for the One Lovely Blog award.

    Take care–E.

  20. Hi! I’ve nominated you for the One Lovely Blog award! Here’s the link:

  21. Hey, I have nominated u for the very inspiring blogger award. The set of rules are mentioned here.
    Keep inspiring people. 🙂

  22. Bunnet says:

    I have previously use my mechanical knowledge to freely help people mostly those of age, or single women to fix there cars. I also don’t it bad to mention that you done something good, it sense of pride, that uplifts you

  23. Random acts of kindness are always appreciated, no matter how small. Thank you for sharing a small inspirational moment and by sending a reminder to everyone to do something nice for someone else.

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